Danny Kaye's Musical Tribute to the Income Tax
One of the best illustrations of Randolph Bourne’s dictum that “War is the Health of the State” was the rise of the modern income tax during World War II. Before 1942, the tax covered only a small well-off minority. As the federal government lowered the brackets and raised the rates during the war, however, the old “class tax” became a “mass tax.”
The introduction of withholding was the primary means to accomplish this goal. The Office of War Information promoted payment of the tax as not only a patriotic duty but as a positive joy.
It also commissioned Irving Berlin to write “I Paid My Income Tax Today.” Here is an audio of the song as joyfully belted out by comedian and actor Danny Kaye. Tbe lyrics are here if you want to sing along.
David T. Beito - 11/14/2008
I know what you mean. I can't get the damn thing out of my head.
John Lofton - 11/14/2008
Hmmmmmmm. Kinda catchy. The toes did tap a bit. Beat pretty good. But I give it a 43 since it's impossible to dance to.
John Lofton, Editor
- Arizona Historical Society soon could be history
- Yale's Donald Kagan says students need to study Western civilization
- Ken Burns on Colbert to promote his new documentary, "The Address"
- UC Santa Barbara History Department featuring a series on the Great Society at 50
- Historians are trying to recover censored texts from World War I poets